It was a poem
men took because it said ovary

didn’t take my
political poems
they took the one that said ovary

Are you sure it was because it 
           said ovary?

Yes, for them that’s logical.


Destroy another
is war for? So

you’ll go down
each of you does. dies in

each of you who does, dies 
for the pain you experience
         Just that 
and nothing is established

Because I am a woman
Cutting as many cords 
as tie you to me. this isn’t
it isn’t anything you
           could name

You’re still here 
without ties?

because they were logical.


Dance little asshole dance
oh he gets elected, like a Calvinist 
He says, I have these guts 
Men, I have these guts.


Having dedicated whole 
regions to the destruction
          you inspire, the 
logic will be to go on doing it 
doing it. Having proceeded by

the logic
         of your per-
sonal vaccuum 
you will perceive your continued
as an excuse to go on. having 
gone on 
as you have. And so one continues.


Lead the boy out of
          the building on fire
his head twisted 
all fucked

What else is there to
       know if 
one has gotten 
twisted up 
all fucked

he is a screaming fire


In the explanations 
of our lives’ experience

they’ve left out this wild moment
the long mirror on the right-hand wall of the
corridor suddenly shattered
I can’t see myself anymore.


I repeat that I am not frightened
          and why not 
I don’t know 
what my reactions 
are supposed to be.


        “Please tell me something 
with which I’m familiar.”

isn’t there another part of now

Alice Notley, "Logic" from Songs and Stories of the Ghouls. Copyright © 2011 by Alice Notley.  Reprinted by permission of Wesleyan University Press.
Source: Songs and Stories of the Ghouls (Wesleyan University Press, 2011)
More Poems by Alice Notley